Antonov's An-140 twin-turboprop regional transport is due to have its maiden flight no later than 10 September, says Piotr Balabuyev, Antonov's general designer. The aircraft is undergoing high-speed ground runs at the Antonov plant in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Ukrainian company hopes that the An-140 will replace several hundred An-24 transports which are approaching the end of their useful lives in the CIS. Balabuyev estimates the market in the CIS at about 650 aircraft.

Series production is being prepared at the Kharkov plant in Ukraine and Aviacor plant in Samara, Russia. In addition, Iran has chosen the An-140 to be built under licence, and Ukrainian and Russian specialists are already in Iran training personnel and organising production.

In a passenger layout, the An-140 can carry 46-52 people over 2,100-2,650km, cruising at 280-310kt (520-575km/h). The aircraft is powered by two Klimov TV3-117VMA-SB2M turboprops each rated at 1,840kW. They are produced in Ukraine by Motor-Sich of Zaporozhye. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127A (1,800kW) is offered as an option.

A 68-seat An-140-100 derivative, with the fuselage stretched by 3.8m, is already in development. Antonov plans to design a family of aircraft for a variety of missions, including maritime- patrol and military-transport work.

Source: Flight International